US 4944366 A
Pneumatic operated scaffolding is presented and includes a plurality of fluid operated cylinders to lift sheetrock or the like for ceiling joist attachment. The scaffolding includes a removable walk and adjustable legs for use in a variety of construction applications. Transverse braces having multiple joints, a removable work support frame, along with pivotable pneumatic cylinders allow the scaffolding to easily fold for compact storage and transportation purposes.
1. Pneumatic operated scaffolding comprising a work support frame, a pneumatic cylinder, said cylinder attached to said support frame, a scaffold frame, means to pivotally attach said cylinder to said scaffold frame means to stop rotation of said cylinder, said stop means joined to said attaching means whereby said cylinder will lift said work support frame during use and after use said cylinder can be detached from said work support frame and rotated by said attaching means into a storage configuration wherein said attaching means comprises a c-clamp, a threaded member, said stop means consisting of a stop bar, said threaded member and said stop bar attached to said c-clamp, said c-clamp for engaging said cylinder and said threaded member for attachment to said scaffold frame.
2. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 wherein said work support frame is rectangular.
3. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 2 wherein said work support frame includes a handle.
4. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 and including a support frame extension, said support frame extension releasably attached to said work support frame.
5. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 and including a leg, said leg adjustably affixed to said scaffold frame.
6. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 5 and including a leg clamp, said leg clamp attached to said scaffold frame for adjustably receiving said leg.
7. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 and including a fluid manifold, said manifold communicating with said pneumatic cylinder.
8. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scaffold frame includes a hingeable transverse brace.
9. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 wherein said scaffold frame comprises a rectangular configuration.
10. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 wherein scaffold frame includes a pair of longitudinal members, a pair of transverse braces, each of said transverse braces attached to said longitudinal members.
11. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 8 wherein said transverse brace includes a hingeable joint.
12. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 8 wherein said transverse brace includes a trio of hingeable joints.
13. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 and including a scaffold frame extension, said extension for attachment to said scaffold frame.
14. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 1 and including a walk, said walk positioned on said scaffold frame.
15. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 13 and including an extension walk, said extension walk positioned on said scaffold frame extension.
16. Pneumatic operated scaffolding comprising:
a rectangular scaffold frame, a plurality of pneumatic cylinders, one of said plurality of cylinders positioned at each corner of said frame, means to pivotally attach said cylinder to said scaffold frame, means to stop rotation of said cylinder, said stop means joined to said attaching means a work support frame, said work support frame releasably attached to said pneumatic cylinder above said scaffold frame, a walk, said walk positioned on said scaffold frame, said scaffold frame including a pair of hingeable transverse members, whereby with said work support frame removed from said cylinders, said cylinders will pivot on said attaching means inwardly of said scaffold frame and said transverse member can collapse for compact scaffolding storage wherein said attaching means comprises a c-clamp, a threaded member, said stop means consisting of a stop bar, said threaded member and said stop bar attached to said c-clamp, said c-clamp for engaging said cylinder and said threaded member for attachment to said scaffold frame.
17. Pneumatic operated scaffolding as claimed in claim 16 and including adjustable legs, said legs attached to said scaffold frame.
18. Scaffolding comprising: a work support frame, a cylinder member, said cylinder member releasably attached to said support frame, a scaffold frame, means to pivotally attach said cylinder member to said scaffold frame, means to stop rotation of said cylinder, said stop means joined to said attaching means whereby said cylinder member can be rotated into a storage configuration when not in use wherein said attaching means comprises a c-clamp, a threaded member, said stop means consisting of a stop bar, said threaded member and said stop bar attached to said c-clamp, said c-clamp for engaging said cylinder and said threaded member for attachment to said scaffold frame.
1. Field Of The Invention
The invention herein relates to scaffolding and particularly pneumatic scaffolding which is used inside a building to lift sheetrock or other building materials such as ceiling panels to the ceiling joists for attachment thereto.
2. Description Of The Prior Art And Objectives Of The Invention
In the construction of houses and other buildings wherein standard 4' to the inside room studs for inner ceiling and wall surfaces which are finished (doped) and painted or papered. Since these panels are heavy and awkward to "hang", various devices have been used in the past to provide assistance and various kinds of scaffolding have been employed by workers to assist in handling sheetrock and other materials for attachment to ceiling joists. Certain types of pneumatic and other lift devices have heretofore been employed to help workers with such difficult tasks but due to the expense and inconvenience of automatic (pneumatic or electrical) scaffolding, such is not in widespread use. Thus, with the disadvantages and shortcomings known of scaffolding currently in use, the present invention was conceived and one of its objectives is to provide pneumatically operated scaffolding which is relatively easy to use by a single workman and is economical to purchase and use.
It is yet another objective of the present invention to provide pneumatically operated scaffolding which is relatively trouble free and can be set up, operated, dismantled and transported by a single workman.
It is still another objective of the present invention to provide pneumatically operated scaffolding which includes a plurality of air cylinders which will support a planer panel of sheetrock and which can be directed upwardly to the ceiling joists for attachment thereto.
It is still another objective of the present invention to provide pneumatically operated scaffolding which can be quickly disassembled and compactly stored and transported as required.
Various other objectives and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as a more detailed description of the invention is presented below.
Pneumatically operated scaffolding as presented includes a plurality of air cylinders for assisting workmen in attaching sheetrock panels or the like to ceiling joists inside rooms during construction of houses or other buildings. The device also includes a rectangular scaffold frame and a pair of transverse members which include foldable joints. Attached at each corner of the scaffold frame is a pneumatically operated cylinder. Also attached at each corner of the scaffold frame is a leg member for adjusting the height of the scaffold frame from the floor. Above the rectangular scaffold frame is a work support frame which may also be rectangular in shape for holding one or more pieces of sheetrock or other planer members. The pneumatically operated cylinders allow the work support frame to move upwardly to bring the sheetrock into contact with the ceiling joists where the sheetrock can then be nailed to the joists or otherwise attached. The scaffold frame includes a walk which may consist of a 3/4 inch plywood base with a rubber mat or tread thereon. The scaffolding can be easily collapsed for storage or transportation purposes by removing the work support frame and rotating the pneumatic cylinders inwardly for substantially parallel alignment with the scaffold frame after removal of the walk. The leg members are then removed allowing the scaffold frame to be collapsed by bending the hingeable transverse brace members at each end of the scaffold frame for convenience in storage or transportation.
The preferred form of the invention is shown in FIG. 1 whereby pneumatic operated scaffolding having a rectangular work support frame is attached at the corners to four pneumatic cylinders. The pneumatic cylinders are pivotally attached to a pair of tubular steel longitudinal frame members and also attached thereto are wheeled leg members. A pair of hingeable transverse braces are affixed at each end of the longitudinal frame members and the braces are foldable for storage purposes. A walk consisting of a ribbed rubber mat which is affixed to a plywood sheet is positionable between the transverse members and rest upon the extended transverse braces. A pair of frame extensions are located at each end of the scaffold frame to assist the workmen in reaching the ceiling joists as required. In the event longer (10 to 12 feet) sheetrock components are utilized, work support frame extensions are slidably received into the ends of the work support frame.
Turning now to the drawings, for a more complete description of the invention and its method of operation, FIG. 1 demonstrates pneumatically operated scaffolding 70 which can be used by sheetrock hangers or other workmen to lift and support sheetrock or other materials during construction. As also seen in FIG. 1, scaffolding 70 includes an upper work support frame 60 which is rectangular in shape and is formed from tubular side members 19a and 19b which are joined to lateral end members 20a and 20b. Handles 21a and 21b can be manually used to override pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d to adjust the placement of the sheetrock (not shown) or other materials against the ceiling joists. Lateral member 20b has handle 21b attached thereto and lateral member 20a has handle 21a attached to the underside thereof. Work frame extensions 22a and 22b as also seen in FIG. 1 can be withdrawn or extended as required to support long pieces of sheetrock or other paneling. Side members 19a and 19b may be for example five (5) feet in length whereas work frame extension members 23a, b, c and d may be for example two (2) feet in length to provide additional support to the work material being used.
Pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d are releasably attached to lateral members 20a and 20b shown in detail regarding member 20a in FIGS. 9 and 10. As illustrated therein, piston head 49 fits within opening 51 and is locked into place by pin 48 which passes through openings 50 on each side of lateral member 20a. Cotter pin 29b attaches to pin 48 to hold it in member 20a. As would be understood, pin 48 can be easily removed whereby support frame 60 can be separated from scaffolding 70. Pneumatic or air cylinders 18 as shown in FIG. 7 include inlet tube 36 so air under pressure can enter cylinder 18 and will apply upward force to slug 34 which is attached at the bottom of piston rod 30 thereby causing piston rod 30 to extend upwardly. O-ring 33b provides a seal between the inside cylinder wall of cylinder 18 and slug 34. As also seen in FIG. 7, upper slug pins 32a, b and c (in FIG. 9) maintain upper slug 31 in place and O-ring 33a provides a pneumatic seal thereto. Air is directed to pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d as depicted in FIG. 1 by a conventional compressed air source such as a portable compressor (not shown) which is attached to manifold 2 as featured in FIG. 4 and air controls (not shown) as conventional would allow pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d to be raised and lowered as needed. Fluid manifold 2 consists of a hollow tubular member with air inlet 37b attached thereto. Air which passes through fluid inlet 37b into manifold 2 exits stopcocks 38a and 38b as seen in FIG. 4 and stopcocks 38a and 38b are attached by hoses (not seen) each to "Y's" for connection to a pair of pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d. Said hoses (not shown) are attached to fluid inlet tubes 36 as seen in FIG. 7 of each of said pneumatic cylinders.
In order to compactly store scaffolding 70, pneumatic cylinders 18 are rotatably attached to longitudinal frame members 1a and 1b as pictured in FIGS. 1 and 2. As seen in FIG. 2, pivotable cylinder attaching means 4a and 4b consists of a c-clamp configuration. In FIG. 6 pivotable attaching means 4a includes a threaded member 43 which passes through longitudinal member 1a as shown in FIG. 2 and is tightened thereon by nut 46. Stop bar 41 as shown in FIG. 2 is positioned under hingeable transverse brace 26a. A locking pin (not shown) can be passed through openings 72 and 73 in transverse brace 26 as shown in FIG. 2 and through stop bar opening 74 as depicted in FIG. 6. Thus, with nut 46 loosened, cylinder 18b as shown in FIG. 1 fitted within pivotal attaching means 4a can be rotated inwardly (after removal of work support frame 60 and with removal of scaffold walk 65) for storage purposes. As further seen in FIG. 6, pneumatic cylinder 18a is tightened by bolts 44a and b into nuts 45a and 45b of attaching means 4a. Shoulder 42 provides a flat contact surface for abutment with longitudinal member 1a. Scaffold leg members 6a, b, c and d shown generally at FIG. 8 comprise a cylindrical tube 6 having a caster 8 attached thereto. Members 6a, b, c and d can be adjusted to various heights by the use of leg clamps 39a, b, c and d as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Leg clamp bolt 40 as shown in FIG. 2 are received by clamp nuts 39a, b, c and d respectively whereby scaffolding 70 can thus be raised and lowered as desired. In order to collapse scaffolding 70 as shown in FIG. 1, scaffold leg members 6a, b, c and d may be removed from leg clamps 7a, b, c and d and walk 65 is removed from scaffold frame 61. Scaffold frame extensions 9a and 9b (if in place) are removed along with extension walks 15a and 15b respectively. Next, work support frame extensions 22a and 22b are pushed inwardly as shown by 22a in FIG. 1 and work support frame 60 is removed from pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d by removing pins 48 as shown in FIG. 10. Pneumatic cylinders 18a, b, c and d are then pivoted inwardly with pivotable attaching means 4a, b, c and d which turns about threaded members 43 in longitudinal members 1a and b as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6. Transverse braces 26 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 can then be folded inwardly at joints 62, 63 and 64. Thus, a compact and easily transportable scaffolding is povided with a minimum number of separate components.
Scaffold walk 65 as shown in FIG. 1 is positioned on top of hingeable transverse braces 26a and b and walk 65 rests upon walk support 3 and on top of fluid manifold 2 as shown in FIG. 4a. Walk 65 is formed from a 3/4 inch plywood base 16 and includes a non-slip rubbed rubber tread or mat 17. Scaffold frame extensions 9a and 9b likewise include extension walks 66a and b which fit within frames 9a and 9b respectively. As seen in FIG. 1 frame extensions 9a and 9b are composed of parallel side members 10a and 11a and include a series of walk supports 12a, b, c, d and e as seen in FIG. 1.
For a better understanding of the operation and folding of hingeable transverse brace members 26a and 26b, as seen in FIG. 2, brace member 26a comprises components 24c and d which are tubular steel members welded to longitudinal members 1b and 1a respectively. Brace components 5c and 5d are hingeably attached to each other through member 5f to form joint 63 and member 5c is hingeably joined to member 24c whereas member 5d is hingeably joined to member 24d to form joints 62 and 64. Components 24a, b, c and d utilizing brace bolts 27a, b, c and d respectively are received by bolt nuts 47a, b, c and d as shown in FIG. 3. As may be understood, member 25a is rigidly joined (welded) to component 5d and member 25b is likewise welded inside to brace component 5c. The trio of hingeable joints 62, 63 and 64 thereby provide an easily collapsible transverse brace 26a, yet one that is strong and rigid while extended during use of scaffolding 70.
Various modifications and changes can be made to the invention by those skilled in the art and the illustrations and examples presented herein are not intended to limit the scope of the appended claims.
FIG. 1 illustrates the pneumatically operated scaffolding in a partially assembled perspective view;
FIG. 2 demonstrates a top view of the hingeable transverse brace;
FIG. 3 shows side elevational view of the hingeable transverse base;
FIG. 4 pictures at 4a a side elevational view of the pneumatic manifold and 4b demonstrates a view of the pneumatic manifold with stopcocks attached;
FIG. 5 demonstrates a side view of the scaffold leg clamps;
FIG. 6 depicts at 6a a plan view of the pivotal attaching mean; FIG. 6b demonstrates a side view of said pivotal attaching means, and 6c an end view of the attaching means;
FIG. 7 features a cut-away pneumatic cylinder as used in the invention;
FIG. 8 shows a leg member with a caster affixed thereto;
FIG. 9 illustrates a cut-away side view of the attachment of the pneumatically operated cylinder to the support frame; and
FIG. 10 demonstrates a top view of the attachment of the cylinder to the work support frame.